The show was cancelled in May 2002 because of falling ratings and decreasing viewer interest.
In an effort to boost ratings, Robert Downey Jr. was hired to play Ally's love interest at the start of season four. The ratings increased and David E. Kelley began planning to have that season end with the wedding between Ally and Robert Downey Jr.'s character. However, before production on the season finale could begin, Downey was arrested on a drug-related charge. Despite objections from David E. Kelley, Fox fired Downey from the show and forced Kelley to have to rewrite a brand new season finale episode that removed Larry Paul character from the series and rewrite and re-shoot a new ending to the previous episode so as to remove all references to the aborted wedding storyline. Ironically, the episode's title remained "The Wedding".
During the "thin" epidemic of Hollywood in the late-1990s, the average size of the women on the set was 0-2. Jane Krakowski, a size 6 reportedly said some days she felt like a "fat cow".
Peter MacNicol does not appear in the pilot, though he's in the second episode as a guest star. He joined the regular cast later in the first season.
During the Christmas party, 'Renee' (Lisa Nicole Carson) asks the gentlemen she's dancing with what he does (for work); he replies that he is a network president. The gentlemen is Peter Roth who, at that time, was the network president of Fox (Ally McBeal was on Fox from 1997-2002; Roth was the network president from 1996-1999).
The famous dancing baby makes his first appearance in Season 1's 11th episode "Cro-Magnon".
Season 1's 13th episode "Body Language" is the first not to be solely written by series creator David E. Kelley.
Season 1's 20th episode "The Inmates" was a crossover with the hit legal drama "The Practice". Featuring Dylan McDermott, Steve Harris and Camryn Manheim from that show, the storyline was completed in "The Practice" episode "Axe Murderer" which guest starred Calista Flockhart and Gil Bellows. Dylan McDermott reappeared in "Ally McBeal"s season finale "These Are the Days".
The movie they watch at the Slumber party is Halloween.
Episode features Sir Elton John, who sings his new (at the time) song, "I Want Love," which is also the name of the episode. Interestingly, Robert Downey Jr. would get his first job (after being fired from "Ally McBeal" the season before) lip-syncing the lyrics in the official music video of "I Want Love."